Just choked down a micro-waved bowl of soup in between staff prayer time and my next meeting (I've got about half and hour - Campbell's Chunky Chicken Gumbo if you care). In staff prayer time today I took an idea I read about somewhere and implemented it. This guy (the really important one, whose name I can't recall) said that every time he met with someone, he lit a candle in their presence to remind them that God is in their midst, part of the conversation. So today after I shared a devotion, we turned off the lights and lit one candle in the middle of the room. The challenge was to keep your eyes open the entire prayer time - recognizing both the presence of God and the community of faith in which we were conversing. It was cool.
Amazingly the little flickering light helps you focus, and is a great meditation aid. The flame draws you in. The illumination reminds you of how God permeates every part of our living and praying and being together. The constancy of the flame reminded us that God is constant. Not always flashy explosions and never extinguished...the candle is a reminder that God is consistent, behind it all, making it all happen, if we'll just slow down and notice. I thought how it might be a good idea to light a candle in a lot of my everyday life experiences as a reminder that God is present. Like when I'm reading or having supper with my family or hanging out with friends, while listening to music, or while on the computer. The flame of the candle is not of course the presence of God, nor is it necessarily holy (a fire can destroy as well as sooth and warm), but it can serve as a reminder that this intangible, unseen, God is very much present in our every moment. I encourage you today...light a candle as representation of God's presence and let the Spirit lead you from there.